Members of a Missouri-based Ku Klux Klan chapter sent a chilling message in Ferguson claiming they will use “lethal force” to defend themselves from “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters.’”
The Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK distributed fliers saying protesters have “awakened a sleeping giant,” and that demonstrators have threatened the lives of law enforcement, the community and their families.
“You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan!” the flier reads. “There will be consequences for your actions against the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Missouri.”
On Wednesday, MSNBC host Chris Hayes invited Frank Ancona, the leader of the KKK chapter in Missouri, to discuss reasons for spreading the fliers around Ferguson.
Hayes also questioned Ancona on the irony of the group’s mission in claiming to fight violence with more violence, saying it seems as though they are “attempting to bring about the exact same thing” they are against.
“No, actually it’s addressing the people who are making these terroristic threats and letting them know that the people of Missouri have rights too,” Ancona said.
He went on to refute accusations of incitement by explaining: “There are remedies under the law. The flier, if you read it, it says ‘defend’, it talks about defense. So, in order to defend yourself, that means you’re being attacked.”
Ancona also said he firmly believes that the fliers are making the situation better in St. Louis.
Following Ancona’s appearance on All In, Hayes reportedly received criticism from viewers who spoke out against the host for allowing Ancona a platform to share his controversial views.
The constant and critical responses of the segment prompted Hayes to address viewer concerns in a separate video following the close of the show.
“I still think it was the right call, in fact I may even feel that *more* strongly than I did last night. That said, I 100% understand why some people don’t see it that way. We debated and wrestled with whether or not to do it and weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided there was real news/journalistic value in putting him on,” Hayes said.
“We wouldn’t have booked him to give us “his take” or “weigh in” on what’s going in Ferguson or some other story. We interviewed him because he was actually the person distributing those fliers.”